A NW1 trial consists of 4 elements:

Container (Box):

A room is chosen, and 12 to 20 containers are placed on the floor. Only 1 of the containers will have odor in it.


The odor is hidden in an item in a room, like a small box on a shelf. Your dog must identify the odor location.


The odor is hidden around the exterior of a building. It can be too high to reach and your dog must figure out that it is from above. The environment can affect a search with weather changes and wind.


The odor is hidden on one of 3 vehicles parked in an area. It is always unseen and in a safe area for your dog to sniff. Vehicles can be anything on wheels.

Each search has a time decided at the event by the certifying officer. Depending on the level (NW1, NW2, NW3) the odor(s) is hidden in the search area on 1-6 cotton swabs. The odor is always unseen in a trial.

When your dog identifies the source you will say, “Alert” and the judge will tell you if you are correct or wrong. If you are correct, you will reward your dog at the side of the source. If you alert at the wrong area, you are dismissed.

A trial is exciting. It is a great test of your team skills, reading your dog, and trusting that they are correct. Your dog is using its nose the way they would in nature, and gain great confidence doing this sport.

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The steps to competing are:

  • You will need to register yourself as a member of NACSW and register your dog as a Canine Member.
  • You will also need to enter an Odor Recognition Test, and pass all odors in preparation for a trial.
  • Then you can sign-up to enter a NW1 trial.


We are very proud to say, December 2014, Elsa and Josette completed the highest level of NW Trials earning NW3 Elite status. They earned 3 NW3 level titles, to earn our Elite Status, which means they cannot compete on the NW trial level but in the Invitational and Elite Trials only. This qualified them to compete in the 2015 National Invitational where we competed against 44 other teams. As one of the 15 finalist they earned 5th place overall and two second place search awards. One of Josette's students earned 8th place overall, and a second place search award, we are proud of her placement and hard work.
April 9

NW3 trial

Elsa and Josette earned 90.91 score to qualify for 2017 Invitational in Massachusetts

December 8

Elite 1

Elsa and Josette earned Elite 1 Status - Los Angeles

May 15

2015 National Invitational

We competed against 44 other teams. As one of the 15 finalist we earned 5th place overall and two second place search awards.

Dec 13

NW3 trial

Elsa and Josette earned Elite Status.

Feb 22

NW3 Title

Elsa titled

Dec 15

NW3 trial

Elsa titled

Jul 20

NW3 trial

Elsa took: Second place Exterior

Jun 16

NW3 Title

Elsa took: First place overall, first place Container, first place Exterior, NW3 Vehicle Title

Apr 10

NW3 trial

Elsa took:First place Container and third place Vehicle

Dec 10

NW2 Title

Riley took: First place

Aug 20

NW2 Title

Elsa took: Tenth place overall

May 22

NW1 Title

Elsa took: First place NW1 team

Nov 6

NW1 title

Riley took: First place in vehicle, and third place overall.